Summary: Three hundred and sixty-eight strains of aerobic, endospore-forming bacteria which included type and reference cultures of and environmental isolates were studied. Overall similarities of these strains for 118 unit characters were determined by the S, S and D coefficients and clustering achieved using the UPGMA algorithm. Test error was within acceptable limits. Six cluster-groups were defined at 70% S, which corresponded to 69% S and 48-57% S. Groupings obtained with the three coefficients were generally similar but there were some changes in the definition and membership of cluster-groups and clusters, particularly with the S coefficient.

The strains were distributed among 31 major (4 or more strains), 18 minor (2 or 3 strains) and 30 single-member clusters at the 83% S level. Most of these clusters can be regarded as taxospecies. The heterogeneity of several species, including and , has been indicated and the species status of several taxa of hitherto uncertain validity confirmed. Thus on the basis of the numerical phenetic and appropriate (published) molecular genetic data, it is proposed that the following names be recognized; (Batchelor) nom. rev., (Smith ) comb. nov., (Prickett) nom. rev., (Larkin & Stokes) nom. rev. and (Gottheil) nom. rev. Other phenetically well-defined taxospecies included “”, “”, “”, “” and three clusters of environmental isolates related to and previously described as “ intermediates”. Future developments in the light of the numerical phenetic data are discussed.


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